Our PreK winter theme must have been to get my students ready for the eight or more inches of snow we received over the weekend.
I created a new winter theme sensory bin this year inspired by Differentiated Kindergarten‘s idea with ping pong balls. Since I am dealing with preschoolers I made my bin a letter recognition activity. I drew snowman faces on the balls that had an alphabet letter written on the back side. Students caught them with the tool and marked on the alphabet sheets that I had printed half size from my Winter Bundle or Winter Alphabet Centers. I am providing affiliate links below to Amazon to help you find the supplies for this bin. The scoopers I have are from Oriental Trading, I believe, but I would love to get the set below soon (and an extra set of ping pong balls.) I also added cotton balls as suggested to mine.
My students did a great job keeping the balls and cotton in the bin. When prompted they did a great job filling in their sheets to mark which alphabet letters they found. We are still working on getting some students to remember to put their name on their sheet in case they don’t finish and will return later in the day or week to complete the activity.
I was very pleased with how hard my students worked on creating the pictures on geoboards. I only made loom bands available this time and showed students to only stretch them between two pegs. I was lucky to find a clearance sale at Oriental Trading to pick up some more bands, so you might check to see if they still have any on clearance there. The cards are also part of my Winter Bundle or Winter Geoboards.
Since my dramatic play will be for two weeks, I put up our Penguin Hunt activity. Some years I have a Polar Expedition with Arctic animals to search for and other years I have penguin to search for in the classroom. I found the printable penguins to put up throughout the room on a site that has apparently shut down, but there are some similar ones here and here. I made my own laminated checklist for students to find the penguins with small versions of the larger photos.
To play in the center, students had to put on gloves. This is a great way for them to learn how to put on gloves. These were purchased at our local dollar store. We did need to bring them home over the weekend to wash as they did start to smell a bit at the end of the week after many sets of hands wore them.
We also had play binoculars to search for all the penguins.
During the next week we will add ice fishing to the area.
I used my table top easel to set up part of this snowman number sense set from A Dab of Glue Will Do. I only used numbers five through ten for this center.
Another number related center was my Winter Count and Clip set. I chose to use the set with the dice at the bottom this time. There are also cards with fingers to count and numerals. I found the mini clothespins at the local Dollar Tree.
My final math center for the week was this simple path game with spinner. There is also an option for dice with this game as well. I used water bottle caps along with the printables made to fit on them for game board pieces. This is also part of my Winter Bundle.
I utilized magnets and contact type paper this week on my easel. For the black side I used snowman magnets found at Dollar Tree. On the white side I put up a pattern block mat for a snowflake from PreKinders. I put it up and then put some contact type paper sticky side out on top of it. I provided foam pattern blocks to stick to the mat to create the snowflake.
Our science activities this week included playing Thin Ice. The balls are in a moat with water. Students use the tongs to grab a ball and gently put it on top of a tissue. They attempt to get all the balls to the top before the tissue breaks.
We also matched snowflake designs. I attached one set to a cookie sheet. This set I can no longer find online; I think it may have been updated since I printed it. I would really like to print this one of snowflake photos to match next year if I can remember.
I had two different writing center activities this week. The first used my alphabet cards from my Winter Alphabet Centers set. I used salt to be my snow and flat glass beads to place on the letter that the student has drawn. A couple of the snowflake clothespins were used to hold up the chosen card.
You can see the interesting creation a student left me at the end of centers time one day. I had to take a picture of it.
The second activity was to help review some of our alphabet letters. This activity comes from This Reading Mama. I cut the graph down to be shorter so that students would have more likelihood of finishing before getting tired of writing letters.
Part of every morning and circle time is our Question of the Day time. You can see an example of one of my winter questions. This time marshmallows won out for the most responses.
Next I will share favorite books, songs, and poems for our winter theme.